by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
from Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges
(Broadway Books, 2007)
We use spring roll wrappers here, not only because they’re easy but also because they make a perfectly light and flaky shell. Serve these as an elegant hors d’oeuvre to dinner or as one of several nibbles at a cocktail party.
Tightly wrapping these samosas into perfect triangles may take some practice, but the results are well worth the effort, and the highly spiced filling pairs perfectly with the cooling Cilantro-Yogurt Dip.—Jean-Georges Vongerichten
For Cilantro-Yogurt Dip
1 1/2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small fresh green Thai chile, sliced
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the samosas
2 tablespoons grape seed, corn, or other neutral oil, plus more for deep-frying
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 8-inch-square spring roll wrappers
Make the dip
1. Put the whole cumin seeds in a small skillet and set over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and browned. The seeds will start to pop. Remove from the heat, cool completely, and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
2. Put the cilantro leaves and chile in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the finely ground cumin.
3. Stir well, season with salt, pepper, and more sugar to taste, and set aside.
Make the samosas
1. Put the oil in a large deep skillet and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then add the coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining ground cumin and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down, 5 minutes, and stir in the tamarind paste. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the meat is completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature.
2. Put one of the spring roll wrapper rectangles on your work surface so that the short side is facing you.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of the filling 1/4 inch from the bottom of the rectangle, then fold the bottom left corner over the filling so that the bottom edge meets the right edge to form a triangle. Press the edges to seal, then fold the triangle over the top edge and continue to fold along the edges to create a triangle. Seal the end of the spring roll wrapper with a little water. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
4. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a heavy, deep saucepan and heat to 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the samosas and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Do not overcrowd; work in batches if necessary. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
5. Serve immediately with the Cilantro-Yogurt Dip.
Recipe © 2007 by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. All rights reserved.